The perfect lighting outside your house is great at enhancing the beauty of it; however, choosing the wrong outdoor lighting can spoil the whole environment. Knowing what kind of lighting will suit your house and garden is important. Your dream to stroll down the garden in the evening with the lights creating the perfect ambience and the wind slowly blowing on your face can come true; you just have to know what, and how, to get the right outdoor lighting for your place.
Outdoor lighting is also helpful for security reasons. When the days get shorter, especially in winter, outdoor lighting can lengthen the day and dramatically change the environment of your outdoor living spaces. With proper planning you can also create your outside space for entertaining your guests.
Types of Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting can be divided into four categories:
Security lighting: This lighting is used for lighting up the vulnerable areas of your property. It is advisable though to keep it away from the living areas so it’s not distracting, as the lights used are bright, and often motion activated. You can also have a manual on/off switch for your lighting so that you can override automatic illumination.
Task lighting: This type of lighting is for specific purposes such as outdoor grilling or walking safely up and down steps and along paths. Task lighting should be kept between your eyes and the object that needs to be lighted. See to it that it does not glare, as an overly bright light will blind rather than guide.
Accent lighting: This can create a dramatic effect, or highlight an unusual feature. For example, uplighting can illuminate an interesting piece of statuary. Silhouetting can be achieved by keeping the light between the object and your fence or wall. General or ambient lighting can display overall lighting so that people feel comfortable and look good.
Moonlighting or starlight – You can also imitate moonlight or starlight for creating magical lighting. Moonlighting can be produced by putting outdoor lights in trees. The lights should be pointing downward to create a dappled effect, as if the area were lit by a full moon. And what could be more beautiful than natures own gift to us – stars in the night! This can be imitated by suspending tiny lights in the branches of a tree to create a sparkling night time canopy, or by using flickering candles, sprinkled here and there throughout the space.
Tips to remember:
No matter what type of lighting you want, remember not to over-do it, as less is more when it comes to lighting. Don’t use lights where they’re not necessary, and you can also be subtle by using a low watt bulb. Also be careful not to send light “upward”. Never use lights in straight lines up and down paths like the airport runway effect which is a very common error.
Avoid using yellow lights as they are unflattering to both people and plants. Instead use blue-white bulbs or purchase daylight-blue filters for your fixtures. The lights should be kept where they are easily accessible for changing light bulbs. After setting up your outdoor lighting, get outside after dark and light up the night!